Interior of Santiago's Bodega — Photo courtesy of Loopnet.comWhen two Kansas City transplants set their sights on Key West, they never looked back. After checking out several areas, the under-the-radar neighborhood of the Bahama Village quickly became the location for their new restaurant, Santiago’s Bodega.
From the outside, it looks like an old home that displays a weathered wooden sign above the entrance with a name implying it’s a corner store. The interior is romantic, yet casual with mixed-matched furniture, chestnut-shaded wood floors, and dimmed lighting fixtures. The menu, which consists of tapas dishes, is equally as surprising.
Those who can’t make up their mind when going out to eat (even when the waiter has given them “more time to look”) will find Santiago’s is right up their alley. Small plates allows guests to try several items (ordering two or three each and sharing is the way to go). It’s a difficult to go wrong with prosciutto-wrapped dates and Saganaki, a Mediterranean specialty consisting of Haloumi cheese that is sprinkled in brandy and served to the table with flames rising from the dish.
Lamb Patties at Santiago's Bodega — Photo courtesy of PrissyInParadise.comStart lunch or dinner off with their red sangria followed by soups, salads, and a selection of hot and cold tapas. Expect yellowfin tuna ceviche, beef Carpaccio with capers and truffle oil, lamp patties with thyme and sherry, and spanakopita (Greek spinach pie) – to name a few. Although the British dessert may seem out of place on a Spanish-dominated menu, the bread pudding is an absolute must-order item.
If restaurant openings like Santiago’s Bodega keep cropping up, the Bahama Village (and Petronia Street) may be known as the place to go for unique, quality dining in Key West.